I cancelled: they say I didn't....

Old Jan 25th, 2008, 09:12 PM
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I cancelled: they say I didn't....

Back in October, I had a flight on AA to Chicago I had to cancel because of my husband's illness. Tonight I was talking to someone at AA and they say that I never cancelled and that I was a no-show, so I lost all of my credit toward a futuure flight.

I remember cancelling, remember the conversation ( I needed to pay $100 for the next rebook) and even sent myself an email with the info. I went to the AA site and sent an email to Customer Relations. This is ridiculous. I shouldn't have to lose out on $$ because their agent screwed up.

Has anyone experienced this with AA? If so, what was the outcome?
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Old Jan 25th, 2008, 09:18 PM
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Austin, they didn't give you a cancellation number? Sorry you're having this problem ...
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 05:24 AM
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You need the confirmation number if they are saying you didn't cancel.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 05:51 AM
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AFAIK, there is no cancelation number. The agent should have explained the procedure. The PNR is recycled within days after travel is completed or canceled, so it's useless. The agent should have told you to keep the ticket number, written down somewhere and kept in a safe place. The ticket number was made available to you in the ticket confirmation e-mail once you were ticketed for the original flights. I always save my e-ticket confirmation until I either complete my itn or until I use my credit from cancelled flight.

AA's ticket numbers start with 001 and are ~13 digits long. Without having the ticket number you are out of luck locating the ticket. The PNR, a six letter long alpha code is long gone and can't be used to locate anything at this point.

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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 07:16 AM
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AA - Right, I don't remember a "cancellation number" either. She just told me the procedure for rebooking. I have the 6 letter alpha code and the ticket number from the original booking. When I was on the phone cancelling back in October, I sent myself an email with the info, since the agent told me I needed it when I re-booked a flight.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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Another reason I remember cancelling is because she said it would be either a $50 or $100 penalty when rebooking. She checked my reservation and said it would be $100. How on earth would I know these things if I didn't cancel?
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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I had to cancel a flight on NW, and I was given a cancellation number. And granted when I rebooked I had to pay a extra $100. No problem. Without a cancellation number it will be almost impossible to prove, your word their word. But mine was with NW. So perhaps AA does not give out cancellation numbers. Don't know.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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In that case plead your case to AA CS. What usually works for me is a very concise, professionally written requests. Angry, name calling, demanding e-mails hardly ever get the wanted results. You may consider actual snail-mail instead of e-mail. I find that it works better for more serious situations as it seems to get to the higher ups, but it does take more time.

I don't have any other advice.

Good luck!
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 07:50 AM
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I did send an email to CS. I was polite and to the point. I've remembered a few things since then about my conversation with the agent upon cancelling - like her telling me it would be either $50 or $100.. so when I get a response to my initial email, I'll see if I need to expand further.

My daughter will be attending college in NYC in the fall. I had planned on using AA for some of my trips there. Whether or not I use them will depend upon their response to this situation.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 08:04 AM
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I'm not saying that it didn't happen to you but I cancelled about 10 non-refundable tickets in the last 4-5 years and I never had a problem. Kept my ticket number until I was ready to use the credit and it always worked.

For future reference:

When canceling a non-refundable AA ticket:

1. the credit is good for 1 year of the original ticketing date NOT cancelation date (could that be the problem in your case?)

2. keep the ticket number (starts with 001) as a reference. The PNR (a six letter long code) becomes useless few days after cancelation

3. It may help to ask for and write down the agents name, station location, date, etc.


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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Austin - while I understand your frustration and you sound like an honest guy, you would not believe the stories people cook up and try to pass off. If they believed every honest-sounding person in a he said-she said situation, it would be a mess.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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Don'tcha just love the way the airlines are allowed to treat us? Family emergency, illness, death....they sock you for the $100 change fee with no mercy. But if the weather causes THEM any frustration, or if their "flight crew doesn't show up", we're expected to wait for hours, even days while they figure out what to do with us. We should be able to dock THEM a hundred bucks for every change they make to OUR plans.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 09:01 AM
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AA, like I said, I kept the ticket number.

Gail, yes, I'm sure they get hundreds of people trying to scam them. Thing is, I'm pretty anal about this stuff. I saved all the info, sent myself and email, etc. etc. I was stunned when she said I was a "no-show". I'm too cheap to let something like this go. I agonized over cancelling in the first place. I remember my conversation with the agent.

We will see how this plays out. Appreciate your help.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Joe, that reminds me even more....I asked the agent if I could get a pass on the $100 (with a doctors'note) because I had to stay home and give my husband injections in his PICC Line. She said no.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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On a side note, I now avoid airlines that charge cancellation fees at all...
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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Austin - doctor's notes don't even count for much. Lots of people have MD friends who can write them notes.

My husband who teaches a couple of graduate courses at a local university has had to refuse to grant extensions, absences for deaths in family, hospitalizations, etc without death certificates or other hard documentation. Seems that everyone had a story.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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UH-OH SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME - I DID NOT GET A CANCELLATION 3 EITHER...I WAS GOING IN FOR EMERGENCY SURGERY AND DID NOT THINK TO GO ANY FURTHER THAT LETTING THEN KNOW...
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Not only would I get a #, but I always ask the name of the agent I'm speaking with (& write it down). I also request a confirmation to my email address.
Maybe that would have helped a bit?

I still think you need to pursue this in some way.
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 09:43 AM
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Austin - I am a little confused - do you have the orginal ticket number?

Without it I am not sure you have a case - as I do not know what their record keeping system is. I have had to cancel more flights then I ever want to remember - and the only airlines that I had to cancel on PRIOR to the flight leaving were Jetblue and maybe Southwest. On Delta and AA it is the ticket number that remains in the system.

Let us know what happens!
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Old Jan 26th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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,,,On a side note, I now avoid airlines that charge cancellation fees at all...


Fine, that means that you do not fly on discount tickets since everyone charges. Nearly all airlines offer tickets that are refundable and changeable without fees. Just buy the correct ticket.
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